Michael was born in Buffalo, N.Y. where he completed College and Law School, passed the New York State Bar exam and took a job at a large law firm in Manhattan. He was making more money than he had ever dreamed and had everything most of us think we want when we start out in a career. But something was missing. As he says; "I was unfulfilled."
So after more than 6 years practicing law full time, Michael decided it was time for a change. He left the law firm he was working for and, while continuing to practice law on his own, he also started his own business as a solo singer/songwriter and lead singer/manager of the Michael Bly Band and a working actor in Buffalo and New York City.
From years of guitar and acting lessons and performing live in various contexts since he was 9 years old, Michael always knew he belonged on stage - whether in the courtroom in front of a jury, lobbying the New York State Legislature and various elected officials, which he has done on numerous occassions, playing live for fans or playing the right part just for the camera. He says, "you always know the right thing to do, the tough part is doing it." It's been a strange route to take toward becoming a full-time actor and pop-rock recording artist but, at 31, Michael feels that in many ways it might have been the best one. "My experience in some areas of life where few actors and musicians walk leads to different conceptualizations in songwriting and the invention of characters. Bringing something novel to an art is what art is all about. And running your own business is incredible experience for anything you do."
Indeed, the title track to his debut CD, produced by Berklee guys Dave Devonshire, Craig Clemons and Kevin Myers (U2, Dave Matthews) and engineered by Pat Woodward (Matchbox 20, Maroon 5) at New York City's world famous studio The Hit Factory, is called "Cliche" from the idea that each of us must find something unique in ourselves that we can share with each other and never let our lives become "just another Cliche".
Michael cites diverse inspiration from musicians Bruce Springsteen, Run DMC, Dave Matthews and U2. And actors Gene Hackman, Johnny Depp, Jack Nicolson and Daniel Day-Lewis. "For how they played the game, how they changed the game and how they made me believe it."
The roles he has chosen and the CD tracks are just as diverse. Songs like "Drunk Dial" the hilarious ode to that 4am phone call we've all made will leave you rolling, while songs like "War No More" - a unique and timely consideration of the difficulties in considering the last resort of war will provoke the thought it deserves.
"Cliche" has plenty of the love songs we expect from a pop artist including the energetic expose of life with the one you really want - "With You" - and the gorgeous ballad to honor a woman who can never be honored enough, "Angel." But what really moves Michael in living, acting and writing is also what makes him somewhat unique among today's artists - life experience. He feels like he's been "born again and given a second chance to do something very meaningful with my life - and doing that means everything to me."
On songs like "Why" it's also clear that he's kept a solid perspective on it all, not losing sight of the fact that many people haven't been able to share this enthusiasm. He remembers what that was like and, more than anything else, wants to inspire people to "find themselves" and live only the lives in which they really believe.
In addition to "Cliche", songs like "Hope" a perspective song for those of us who have lived it or may someday, "Why" a calling out to those who dream what they want but haven't gone after it, and "The Music in Me" - "[I]t's the story of how I changed my life and it's meant to change yours." His only wish is that everyone reflect on who you truly are, where you're at and where you really wanna be.
Asked about the varied themes in his work, Michael explained; "I only act or write what I really feel. Like everything, that's easy to say but hard to do. But I'm honestly every bit as passionate about having fun as I am about love or the poetry of life. A comedy can be as moving as a drama depending on who the audience is and what they need right now. More than anything, I believe in the ability to truly move people with film and music or even unsing my skills as an attorney when that's what they need. Whether it's moving them to love, see the world and their own possibilities in it differently or just laugh sn have fun because life is too short, if I've truly moved them, I've done my job and lived my dream doing it.
Michael especially those who have done both of what he loves in music and film. He names a long list of cross-overs from Mark Wahlberg to Maddonna and newer artists from Ludacris to Justin Timberlake. And like a current array of actors and artists such as Will Farrell, John Mayer, Jay-Z, Vince Vaughn, Hugh Jackman and Eminem all of whom he cites as everyday inspiration - Michael's writing and performances can be just as party fun and funny as they can be socially conscious and deeply connecting. But what's never lost in any of it is that all of it is truly inspired and above all else, it's never Cliche.
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